I’ve slowly started to clear out the freezer in preparation for stocking it up with soups, stews, and other meals before the baby comes. I still have a bit of rhubarb from late spring/early summer and I also had a pretty good yield of blueberries from my own garden this year, so I’ve been on a bit of a kick lately making scones with them. I’m loving the combo. I’ve used both fresh and frozen fruit (mainly the rhubarb) in this recipe with good success, and although I haven’t tried it yet, I suspect a 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips or chunks would be a welcome addition as well.
It’s taken a little while to get the recipe down right and there’s been some learning along the way. I wasn’t really a big scone maker before this recipe, but the Mr likes them and I thought it would be fun to try baking something different. There were a few batches that were way too dry because I either skipped out on the heavy cream and used milk instead (in my defense, it was to save me a special trip to the grocery store). Below is a list of tips for making scones to help you make them perfect on the first try.
Tips for Making Scones
Scones are a quick and relatively easy to make, once you get the technique down. The trick is to work quickly and use a light touch. If you over mix the dough, your scones will be tough. The final texture should be half-way between a muffin and a biscuit; not quite flaky, not quite a dense crumb.
- Make sure your ingredients are cold. The butter, eggs, and cream should all come straight from the fridge before using. I even add my mixing bowl and pastry cutter to the fridge a few hours before I make scones when I remember to do so. (FYI – this is a good trick for pie crust too).
- Use full fat ingredients. Since scones are relatively low in sugar for a baked good, now is not the time for regular or low-fat milk. If you don’t use enough fat, you risk having scones that are too dry.
- Work quickly as mentioned above. It should take no more than 30 seconds to form the dough after combining the wet and dry ingredients. You’re not going for a nice smooth dough here either – lumpy and bumpy is just fine.
- If you are using frozen fruit, don’t let it thaw out first or the juices will make the scones soggy. Add the frozen fruit to the dough right before you flatten it for baking.
- Using pastry flour instead of all purpose flour (or even half and half) will result in a lighter scone. I broke this rule because I like a bit of a heartier scone and want the nutritional benefits of the added fibre from the whole wheat flour, but the results are still good.
- Chill the dough before baking. If you take the time to chill the dough before you bake it, this helps with the flakiness. Essentially, you don’t want the butter melting before you bake the scones, so if you have worked quick enough and your kitchen isn’t too hot, you can get away with skipping this step.
Enjoy these scones warm from the oven or room temperature with butter, cream cheese (clotted cream if you’re a traditionalist), your favourite preserves, or even on their own. If you make these scones, be sure to let me know what you think in the comments section below or take a picture and use the hashtag #vancitynutrition.
Blueberry Rhubarb Scones
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup cold butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup diced rhubarb
- Preheat oven to 450⁰F
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, 1/4 cup of sugar, ground cardamom, and salt in a large bowl to mix well.
- Cut in, using a pastry blender or two knives, cold butter until the butter is in small pieces, about the size of small peas. You can use a pastry cutter or two butter knives for this.
- Beat eggs together in a small bowl and set aside 2 tablespoons. Add cream to eggs and beat again until well combined.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the egg mixture. Using a few quick strokes, mix until just combined. Gently mix in the fruit.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface or parchment paper, and pat very gently until a disk about 3/4 inch to 1 inch thick is formed. Brush the top with the reserved eggs and sprinkle with remaining sugar.
- Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool until warm or room temperature before cutting into wedges.
- For best results, use cold butter, don’t substitute heavy cream for milk, and use a light, quick hand for mixing the dough